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Morning Joe

News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Boehner 43, Washington 31, Us 19, Chuck Schumer 18, New York 12, Mark Halperin 12, America 11, Joe Biden 10, Joe Manchin 10, Sam Stein 10, Benghazi 9, John Boehner 9, Schumer 8, Nra 8, Alabama 8, Dee Dee Myers 7, Clinton 7, Wisconsin 7, Bork 6, Romney 6,
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  MSNBC    Morning Joe    News/Business. Interviews with newsmakers  
   and politicians; host Joe Scarborough. New.  

    December 20, 2012
    3:00 - 6:00am PST  

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so per tradition we ask you at the top of the show, why are >> i'm up to see who's hosting next. when is speaker boehner and president obama going to guest host? >> we have told the leader, the speaker and the president, if they do a deal, the big reward is they get to cohost this
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program. a little added holiday incentive for them. okay. >> one more. adrian and michael write, how did you get the set into an airplane bathroom for mark halperin to do the show? >> it wasn't easy but we decided to do it at 30 rock with no makeup. see how y'all like it had. dan, thanks for that. "morning joe" starts right now. ♪ one morning i woke up when you think about what we've gone through over the last couple of months, a devastating hurricane, and now one of the worst tragedies in our memory. the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good. >> good morning. it's thursday, december 20th. welcome to "morning joe" from washington. live with us here, nbc chief foreign affairs correspondent
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and host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell. white house correspondent for the huffington post, sam stein, executive editor of bloomberg news, al hunt and "time" magazine senior political analyst and "way too early" talent -- he was just extraordinary -- mark halperin. mark, you were just -- you were extraordinary. >> no one told me there's no net in that job. >> there is no net. he was great. who could turn the world on with a smile? i mean, mark halperin could, al hunt. >> throwing his hat in the air. >> we need to toss his hat in the air. sam stein has no idea what we're talking about. >> zero. >> so depressed. not a "seinfeld" reference, the greatest series of all time. al hunt, al, this is -- i'm at a loss what's going on in washington. i mean, we can all assign blame.
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i, right now, am especially curious with what's going through my party's mind on the fiscal cliff. but what -- why the breakdown? you know, if you're a republican, you say, i'll raise taxes. you have crossed the line. you have crossed the rubicon, and it's all a matters. the president's gone from $250,000, we've heard him talk about that since 2008. that's his number. it won't be a dime more than $250,000. this deal suge done. what's going on? >> it's even worse than that. because if you look at the spending and the revenue side, they're talking a little over $2 trillion now. they did $1 trillion before. they are about, over ten years, they're about $250 billion apart, that's all. they're $200 billion apart on revenues, $50 billion apart on spending. >> over ten years, that's nothing. >> can you imagine a bob dole or george mitchell not getting that done? >> no. >> and the president did go to
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$400,000 on the tax level. i think it's clear he probably would go to $500,000, too. >> sure. >> the really important thing he did, he went along with the republican demands of entitlements on acola. that's a big deal. and means testing, affluent seniors for medicare. that's not as far as some are willing to go. >> it is, though. there is no doubt the president doing that, the white house is getting killed. >> by the left wing. >> by the left on -- and i think that really is the measure. they're getting killed. >> on acola. >> andrea, i creditized the white house a month or two ago about the president always talking about being courageous, but he was always courageous on the health care bill, on the stimulus, all these things that republicans weren't going to support anyway. but here it's significant. here talking about the cost of living adjustments. that's a lot of money over time. i thought boehner going to $1 million was significant as well. they've all sacrificed.
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they've all offended their base. why can't they get this deal done? >> well, it's really stunning in that, you know, i interviewed nancy pelosi the other day, and she was really clearly taking it from the progressive wing of hadder party on acola but willing to go along with it. it was a lot to swallow. >> what that means is, that means a lot less money in seniors' pockets, a lot less money as far as cost of living. it's a lot of money over a decade. >> and economists say that it is a more accurate way of computing the cost of living increase so they can justify it by saying we're really doing it accurately. >> being more responsible. >> and not taking money away from you. it is a mathematical adjustment that is picking up a lot of buzz. but the fact is, they must have been listening to you at the white house because the president did make some very serious moves that have offended his base. >> right. >> and now why john boehner is
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asking his base to vote for something that goes against republican principles, raising rates, when they know it is a nonstarter. it's not going to pass the senate. it's going to be vetoed if it were to pass, vetoed by the white house, and why waste the time? >> this is what i don't understand. and i haven't heard a good explanation for it yet, sam stein. the president's at $400,000. i remember when i heard the news that he jumped to $400,000 for the first time in four or five years since he started campaigning. oh, my god, that's huge. because i had been saying ad nauseam, you can't raise taxes on small business owners making $250,000. you just can't do it, not in this economy. then boehner did $1 million. i said, that's great. these guys are coming together. and i really thought that number was going to be $500,000. and the president would take $500,000, i think. and then suddenly john boehner makes this -- said -- starts talking about plan b, and i get confused. >> yes. >> then why are they calling it plan b? i don't understand.
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>> it's an awkward branding. >> it's awkward branding. first of all, it's awkward branding. al, do you need us to tell you what plan b is? >> i need this explained to me. >> because rick santorum would not support this. >> let me make a point to that which is i went back and looked at -- there was this great david brooks column from july 2011 when they were first negotiating the debt ceiling. he encouraged republicans to vote for this deal. you'll never get an opportunity like this. you have to recognize victory when you have it in hand. that deal was significantly better for republicans than this deal. they could have had the medicare eligibility age go up and had less revenue. at some point boehner has to say to his caucus, look, we have a win here. let's take the win. i'm not sure he's quite there yet. perhaps this vote on plan b is a way to go back to his caucus and say i fought for something in addition to this. it couldn't get past the senate or white house, but now you have
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to fall back on this compromise. >> mark halperin, for the past four years, and this does bear repeating because i'm sure i'll get criticized by republicans on the hill here, for four years i've attacked the president for not sitting down and talking to small business owners, midsize business owners and ceos. we all talked to the top ceos in america the past four years, he says this guy doesn't get it. he has no idea how to create a job. guess what? the ceos, they're all on his side. the very ceos who were offended by what the president did over the past four years, almost all of them are now going to the white house, going back to the hill, trying to figure out why republicans are not finishing this deal. and maybe the republicans will finish the deal. maybe -- but it's important for americans to understand where these ceos are. they need a deal to be done, and they don't need these political games being played at this late hour. >> there's no doubt, you're
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right, that the white house has done a ton of reaching out, something that you and others have suggested they should have done a lot earlier. that has not produced, though, the imperative that we not go over the cliff. there's such a willingness to go over the cliff by people on both sides. i think that's a real problem because you can only get a deal if there's a lot of pressure. this is the easy part, though. getting a deal between boehner and the president is the easy part. the tough part is getting a majority in the house. i still think there's going to have to be more democratic votes than republican votes to get pass passed. that's the challenge for boehner. i think to some degree the plan b is an attempt to give his people a chance to vote for something, but then it's going to have to shift to the president's terrain and he's going to have to be willing as a patriot and someone who doesn't go over the cliff to bring something to the floor, basicsally a more democratic plan than a republican plan. >> here's what boehner could have done. if he had taken obama's offer,
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tweak it a bit, he could have declared victory. and you know, he would have had great support from the democratic left. they all would have accused obama of selling out. and it would not have been a case lacking -- i mean, the boehner case, it was a real genuine compromise. and the white house really thought that's what it was. the second thing, what john boehner has to do is start doing on january 4th because january 3rd is when he is re-elected as speaker. i think there may be a fear that some of those right. wing members of his caucus might be so furious that any deal he cuts that they wouldn't vote for him. >> what i'm told may end up happening, you've got a number of problems for instance on the senate side on friday, there is the funeral for danny inouye tomorrow. that's going to take up a lot. there's the viewing today. you've got the benghazi hearings. time is running out on the calendar. so what i'm hearing is, go home for christmas and come back the day after, come back on the 26th. >> the plan b would, as a
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diversion, make sense if they were still talking. but they're not talking. and according to senior white house officials, they haven't talked since monday. now, in normal circumstances, maybe that works, but we actually are getting to the point where they need to strike a deal. >> especially conversation one on one. >> if they don't strike a deal in the next day or so, you can't write something this big by the end of the year. >> correct. andrea's right. >> they're going to have to start piecing this together. >> they'll go home for christmas, get an earful from people, and then come back and pass it quickly. >> and they do have stuff written. they've got pieces according to conrad and the other budget leaders in both houses, they've got -- >> conrad, speaking of conrad, he was sure they were going to have a deal. >> yeah. >> everybody was sure. >> obama was sure. >> obama was sure, right. >> you know, on monday, i think the white house was, as one person put it, wildly optimistic. i think that changed dramatically. >> al, let's talk about washington, the one tour of washington, we've talked about it a lot on this show, how much
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things have changed over the past 10, 15 years. they're separate, and i know people that, you know, in sort of the political bubble say, well, you're talking about two completely different things when you talk about negotiating and washington working together, negotiating on this bill and what happened in newtown. but in middle america, nothing happens in a bubble. people are still shattered by that. and anybody that is dragging their feet, fighting, seeming petty less than a week after -- i'm sorry, this is the worst tragedy i can think of as far as just shattering the soul of this country. i say since 9/11, in my lifetime. 9/11 and this. then i guess you'd have to go back to kennedy's assassination. i can't believe how shaken --
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people are just talking about this all the time. they're looking at washington squabbling over numbers. and since they've already decided on the big issues, they're just thinking, they're so dysfunctional. and whoever gets the blame for this, it's in big trouble politically. >> no question. and it's not just on the fiscal stuff. it's on other things, too. i mean, you know, i thought your incredibly eloquent statement last week reflects what a lot of people feel including a lot of people who have had reservations before about doing something. that fight's just about to begin. the high water mark for doing things, i'm afraid, the high water mark for addressing the gun issue is right now. it will go downhill from there because the petty -- i mean, picking on stephen king, which i like to do, a congressman from iowa, the other day literally said, you know, i don't understand all this stuff about guns. i had cap pistols growing up.
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nobody died. >> does anyone realize what these mags meant in terms of those children? i don't want to go there. but the fact is -- >> don't go there? >> we've got to go there. >> you can assume what you can about what actually happened in those moments. what joe califano wrote about what you said on monday, what joe califano wrote about in "the washington post" is that lbj brought them into the room after robert kennedy was killed and said, we have ten days before the nra gets mobilized. we have ten days to accomplish the bill was sitting in the judiciary committee, the gun bans, from the time when john f. kennedy was killed. and now martin luther king jr. had been killed, robert kennedy was killed. he said, you've got ten days to mobilize. you've got to get this done. they did what they could and they came up with a much smaller bill which was signed regretfully by lbj in october. >> i don't have the historical perspective that andrea does, but i have covered all the -- >> you didn't cover that '68
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bill? >> no, i missed it. but i have covered the four instances of mass gun violence under obama, and i have to say the scariest thing to me with respect to newtown was when i g-chatted my fellow editor in new york to plot out coverage, and we knew exactly what to do because we had done it three times before. it had gotten so routine and so disturbing to us and i'm worried i'll be writing the same story. >> we can't desensitize ourselves to this, though. >> listen, we're not going to. i've heard about '68 as far as what califano said and how quickly we have to move. this is different. the horrors of martin luther king, the horrors of bobby kennedy, the horrors of all the gun violence through the years, a million americans killed. mark halperin, as horrific as all of those murders have been, nothing has jarred americans like what happened last friday.
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it just hasn't. americans aren't going to forget this. >> they're not. >> they're not going to forget this, and they're expecting action. you worry, again, if republicans and democrats can't come to an agreement on rounding decisions for ten years, how are they going to address the bigger issues? >> well, we don't really know how the fiscal cliff's going to play out, but i'll tell you, vice president biden was not chosen for the task to head this task force. he was not chosen casually or by accident. he has such a long history with these issues including working with law enforcement. that is the piece of this that really hasn't been in the foreso far. we've talked about the national reaction, the president's reaction, some reaction in the media. if law enforcement groups are marshalled by joe biden as they were when he was chairman of the judiciary committee, i think that could make a huge difference in pressuring not all
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republicans, but some republicans, to work on a common agenda with the president. there's no doubt that's what he wants. joe biden's the guy who can do that. >> and there's a responsibility, too, for democrats. for people like dianne feinstein and chuck schumer, our friend who's going to be on. they can't -- andrea, they can't be leading this bill. dianne feinstein and chuck schumer and barbara boxer, the people who want this the most, are going to have to let people like joe manchin step forward because if joe manchin's leading this bill and police officers are behind this bill, law enforcement officers across america, local sheriffs in hometowns are behind this bill, it's going to make a huge difference. >> what joe mentioned -- saying is you have to put other things into this. you have to do the education, the mental health, the videos and the cultural aspects as well as guns because you have to broaden this coalition.
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that's his main pitch. i was so struck -- and forgive me, i can't remember the names -- you'll know it, of the syracuse basketball coach, the winning coach, 900 victories who, in his locker room victory moment, didn't want to talk about his victories on the court. he wanted to talk about guns. the athletic figures, you know, cruz and all the others -- >> you'll have sports figures, country music stars, hometown -- >> it's cull rtural. >> sheriffs. i think the biggest shock to me this week, i haven't been hearing from a lot of liberals. hey, good job. conservatives, nra members, hunters. my friends from across the south. republican party chairmen from the deep south, calling me up, saying, we've got to do something. they say it, not me. the crazies have taken over the
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nra. the crazies have taken over my organization. they have taken over gun ownership. no, i'm the gun owner that the nra was made for. i hunt. i have a gun to protect my family. and i can't wait to hear what the nra says tomorrow. i hope it's positive. they say they're going to be constructive and i salute them, but they'd better be because the world's changed. >> there's been studies by -- frank lunz polled nra members about what kind of gun policy they would be supportive of, and it was reasonable stuff. it was background checks, some limitations, police data, stuff that makes common sense. and my guess is that the nra, if they want to have a constructive role in here, will come out on friday and say, listen, we can support x, y and z. it's not going to be the assault weapons ban. but perhaps in this moment, you can get something like high-capacity magazines, things
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that can shoot 100 rounds without reloading, off the market. >> the nra has to come forward with that immediately. they just do. they're going to fight on assault weapons. but i wonder, mark halperin, and i've been talking to my republicans over the past year, warning them of the loss that came in november. i wonder how many swing voters in the suburbs of philadelphia think you should be able to get an assault weapon online. i wonder how many swing voters in the i-4 corridor of florida think you should be able to get assault weapons online. i wonder how many swing voters in columbus, ohio, think you should be able to get an assault weapon online. that answer -- this is a 90/10 proposition, what i always say in congress, 90% for, 10% against. the republican party better understand, they'd better understand -- i'm telling them the same thing i told them throughout the year -- this is
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going to put them in a horrific position moving forward if they stand in the way of these common-sense reforms. >> well, and again, if joe biden can build a coalition that includes not just moderate democrats and liberal democrats but more centrist democrats as well as business leaders can be parts of this, law enforcement for sure, and to get some republicans on board, if you look at the right-wing echo chamber now in media, internet, talk radio, you know, it's all about the normal partisanship and the normal-looking -- pick little holes in the arguments for some sort of action. if the vice president and the president build a broad coalition, that 90/10 thing will be a reality including in the house of representatives which is where it's going to come down to because i think you could pass a pretty big peculiarage throu package through the senate. the question is what would they do in the house? >> the question is what did republicans learn? what's my party learned over the past year? are we a party of the past, or are we a party of the future? >> well, the rhetoric is
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certainly promising, but the reality may not be. and i think that's what's going to be tested both on the fiscal cliff and on this issue. look, we had an assault weapons ban for ten years. it was full of loopholes, had all kinds of issues. it worked at least moderately. and i don't know of any hunter who couldn't go out and hunt deer or hunt quail because of that assault weapons ban. it was utter, complete nonsense that impeded in any way legitimate use of guns. >> again, the magazines. >> the magazines are crazy. to shoot 100 rounds without having to reload, i don't understand the purpose. >> and the background checks and the loopholes, those are stuff all that can be done. >> without those magazines, some of those children might have survived. >> exactly. and the background checks. the virginia gun show loophole. i don't know if this is a line in the sand for any gun owners or not. it's just ridiculous what you can do in virginia. go to a gun show, and the
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loopholes. >> but we should arm the teachers. >> and also the people that do the slurpes in the mall. that will stop the oregon shootings and maybe the guy -- the teenager that does the, you know, popcorn, sells the popcorn in movie theaters. if we had just armed the 18-year-old in aurora. >> how about football games, those replacement referees, they wouldn't have gotten by with that stuff. >> unbelievable. coming up, senator chuck schumer. he's got a very compelling op-ed in "the washington post." and it's more inclusive on these -- the gun issue. also, former national security adviser, dr. brzezinski is with us, former white house press second, dee dee myers, and "the washington post's" bob woodward. and after the break, jim vandehei looks at the "politico playbook." here's bill karins with a check on the forecast. >> thanks, joe. maybe breaking news coming out of southern portions of alabama. this winter storm has a severe
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element to it. over the last half hour, we're getting reports that a tornado has struck the western side of mobile, alabama. and moved to the north through chickasaw. this tornado could possibly still be on the ground. the tornado sirens have been going off. a lot of people are being woken up by sirens early in the morning in southern alabama. the areas that are next for this possible tornado that has already possibly done damage. reports by the fire department there in mobile is satsuma and creola. if you know anyone that lives in those areas, try and call them and alert them now because the storm is heading their way. as far as the tornado threat, it also includes areas of mississippi, alabama and the panhandle of florida. we'll watch this till about noon today for the possibility of any of these tornadoes. now, as far as the blizzard goes, roads are almost impassable through much of iowa and now southern wisconsin is really starting to take the brunt of this and beginning to snow hard now in northern michigan. we'll pick up an additional six
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to ten inches in northern michigan and wisconsin. but it's the winds that are making it very difficult for the plows to keep up with. we have winds gusting from wichita to des moines, above 40 miles per hour this morning. so travel in the midwest, very dangerous. and i'll continue to give you any updates here on "morning joe." when i hear more information of the mobile area in alabama, possibly struck by a tornado within the last half hour. you're watching "morning joe." we're brewed by starbucks. this family used capital one venture miles to come home for the holidays. that's double miles you can actually use...
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welcome back to "morning joe." let's look at the "morning papers." "the washington post." the u.s. army will seek the death penalty against staff sergeant robert bells.
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his defense team says he shouldn't face the death penalty because he was serving his fourth deployment in a war zone. "los angeles times." robert bork died of heart disease. he was solicitor general during watergate. he worked on romney's campaign as a senior judicial adviser. he was 85. >> "the san francisco chronicle," publicly voicing concerns over the new film "zero dark thirty." it tells the story of the hunt for osama bin laden and includes several graphic for tour seasons. the senators called the film "grossly inaccurate and misleading." they would. and said "there is a social and moral obligation to get the facts right," which "zero dark thirty" does. no editorial there. mark. >> "usa today," the air force is turning to espn and other video outlets to help manage its grow
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ing drones. it did not lead to technological breakthroughs but helped them develop new techniques. 325,000 hours of video material. >> and "the providence journal," 20-year-old olivia culpo has been named miss universe beating out contestants from 88 other countries to win the crown. she becomes the first rhode islander to ever win the pageant and the first american to do so since 1997. i called home last night, and i asked my daughter, "what are you watching?" she said, "i'm watching miss universal with mommy." "you mean miss universe?" "no, miss universal." >> the pageant. >> exactly. the pageant changed its name. chuck schumer is telling progressives, get over it. you're not going to ban handguns. you're not going to take people's guns away.
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we need to live within the framework of heller and stop dreaming of these all-out bans and respect people's right to keep and bear arms within limits. so i think that's a fascinating move by chuck schumer. very pragmatic. >> schumer is showing more and more the potential to be a real senate leader. he's behind dick durbin, but if dick durbin were to move on to another post, ever join the cabinet or do something else, schumer would be right there, really running things in a way that harry reid doesn't often exhibit. >> a very pragmatic, i think, approach, what schumer is saying in "the post," and helpful for what i was saying before, the joe manchin coalition will get this thing done if it is feinstein, boxer, schumer, it won't. it just won't get done. >> we should point out it's dianne feinstein who led the way back had she was just in the senate and proved all of the old guard wrong, that she could get
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something accomplished. >> we'll see. i don't think it will happen this time unless there are conservatives and moderates on board as well. >> part of the coalition. >> yeah. >> and each side has no to let not the perfect be the enemy of the good. that's the point schumer was making. it's the same for the other side. you're not going to come up with any law that will prevent mass killings. instead of 8,000 k12,000 kids, 8,000 killed next year, that's better. >> you're not going to ban movies and video games, but you can pressure the industry to come up with some voluntary restrictions. mental health. we need a lot more funding for mental health, there's no doubt about it. it's not going to be perfect. and again, this gun law by itself, we don't know if it would have prevented the massacre in connecticut. we just know, as sam said, after oregon, after colorado, after -- i think minnesota, the temple in
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minnesota. >> tucson, gabby giffords. >> after tucson, gabby giffords, after connecticut last week. these are no longer isolated random acts of violence. let's bring in jim vandehei with "politico's" playbook. and jim, it's not a cold december. things are heating up. >> it's not. we're talking about gun control, but if you think about the election, which seems so small, so little talk about what would happen in the next year, we now have two months where we'll be dealing with tax increases, entitlement reform, gun control and i think a real debate about creating a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country, all in the first three months of this congress. and all of these are going to test what al was talking about earlier, that there is rhetorically a lot of republicans are saying the right thing. if you watch it, they've sort of put a sock in it when it comes to gay marriage, when it comes to immigration. broadly. but when it comes to votes, that's where change is really hard. and that's where you're seeing john boehner, people are like
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why can't he get a deal? it's going to be hard to get these guys who actually have to cast the votes to fundamentally change their views on taxes, on immigration, on gun control. and he knows that they're going to have to make some adaptations. but the idea this was ever going to be clean and easy is crazy. i still think you have to go through all of this ugliness, the pain, the bluffing. you have to get up to the brink and get close to a deal. i think it was al saying earlier in the show, they're not that far apart. we know for a fact democrats will go to $500,000 as far as where you start to have the tax increases. we know that pelosi is going to deliver on entitlement changes that go above and beyond what the president's talked about. she has promised her leadership team that. she has promised the president that. and she will deliver the vote. so you just have to get to a place where boehner can get even a slight majority of the majority. >> so what's happening on the hill? why did boehner -- you're still optimistic -- the president says
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$400,000. john boehner says $1 million. i thought those were both significant concessions on both sides. and the white house is waiting for a return phone call from boehner, and the next thing he's doing a press conference on this plan b. >> i think a little bit, he's buying time. he's also trying to buy an alternative for his conference, give him something to vote for while he tries to build support for something they don't want to do. boehner with truth serum will say taxes are going up. there's a 0% chance that taxes aren't going to go up. if you're a republican, you're boehner, you're trying to say listen, let's get something in return. they actually have something on the table where they can raise that income, not the $250,000 cap, which is going to become law. there's nothing they can do to stop that. they can raise it to $500,000 and get entitlement reform. you're talking about changing the indexing to the cpi formula. >> that's significant. >> it's not a ton of money, by the way. you're only talking about 0.3% on average to the adjustment you have for social security, but
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it's a change in the direction that republicans want to move on entitlement reform. that's the part he's got to convince at least 110, 120 republicans to buy into. i don't think it's inconceivable that he can do it. i think he has to show that he's not just getting bowled over by the president and that there is a political path to them getting more on spending in the future. >> all right. jim, thank you so much. stay with us. and coming up next, the jets find one possible solution to the mark sanchez/tim tebow drama. get rid of them both! sports is next on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] imagine facing the day
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i guess he should do sports, too. >> well, let him do everything. >> i had no idea. >> my gosh! he's like a fungus. >> exactly. >> just spreading over everything that we hold dear. all right. >> i'm not sure about him doing sports, though. this is going to be awkward. >> we'll see. not as awkward as when you do it, mika. jo mark halperin has sports. >> they're going to rid themselves of both mark sanchez and tim tebow at the end of the season on the heels of the news
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that their third-stringer quarterback greg mcelroy will start this sunday. sources tell espn the jets are through with both sanchez and tebow. they'll reportedly explore all options to dump both those guys including perhaps trading them. according to a team source, the typically poised tebow, quote, looked furious upon receiving the news that mcelroy would be the starter. both sanchez and tebow reacted to the quarterback change on wednesday. >> you know, i respect coach's decision. you know, obviously, i want to be out there maying, so i don't necessarily agree with it. you know, when something like that happens, i just do my best to support greg and support the team and get him ready to play and then obviously prepare like a starter just in case i need to go in there. >> as a player, even though you might not agree, you just have to -- you have respect for them, the organization, and you just do the best you can. all you want is a chance, a chance to go out there and play the game you love and help this team win football games.
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you know, that's all i wanted. >> so the jets' coach, rex ryan, apparently loves a good quarterback controversy because he hinted yesterday that he's going to keep all three of the quarterbacks active for sunday's game against the san diego chargers. >> boy, i'll tell you what. sam stein, you're a native of the tri-state area. >> what, sam stein? >> sam stein. he's a connecticut boy. he grew up, you know, watching the jets. where's sam? >> it's jim vandehei. >> jim vandehei. he's aged. so jim vandehei. where's sam? >> i'm a packers fan. >> you're a football fan. i'll go with you. seriously, have you ever seen anything like this? they have treated tebow like dirt. >> they have treated him like dirt. with all due respect to my assistant who has a crush on tebow -- >> why bring him in? >> if you were trying to build a team, why would you build it
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around either? >> why do you bring this guy in from denver -- >> great box office. he was voted the least likely -- the most overrated player in the minds of nfl players. and he's the most liked, most respected -- what was that poll over thanksgiving -- who do you want to have dinner with? 37% of the country said he was the first person. >> why? >> because he's a great leader. he's a good guy. he's a great guy. >> by the way -- >> people like him. >> rg3, he's a good guy and he can play. >> we don't know. we saw tebow do pretty well last year. i don't understand why do you bring this guy to new york? and treat him the way you do? >> i mean -- >> here comes sam. >> oh, my god. >> someone call me? >> the sports writer. why do they treat him this way, sam? >> which one, sanchez or tebow now? >> tebow. >> i don't know, he's not that good, that's why.
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you don't bring him in just to sit him down, i guess. he's just got a good qb. they had this one article where they quoted all these players on the jets saying he's just not ready to play professional football and we don't want him on our team. >> he did pretty good at denver last year. >> he had that one good play. >> that one great season, sam. >> the stats. >> running the ball, he had a couple games where he could throw the ball more often than not. he wins some. >> but there's no reason -- i mean, why didn't they try tebow, right? >> right. why didn't they try? >> ask your buddy, woody. >> where did you go, sam? >> i'm talking and missed the first three blocks of headlines. >> i was truly confused. it's all right. you're tired. no, you're tired. >> i'm sorry. all right, sam stein, you can go back now. >> go back to your sports
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closet. up next, the "must-read opinion pages." keep it right here on "morning joe." ♪
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all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. all right. beautiful chopper shot of new york city. welcome back to "morning joe" at 47 past the hour. it's time now for the "must-read opinion pages." we're going to start with one by senator chuck schumer in "the washington post." a middle ground on gun limits. and he says this, in part. "the truth is, it was bad strategy to ever deny an individual right to bear arms and, similarly, the special place guns hold in our culture. that mentality alienated potential allies in the ideological middle of the gun debate. in the current state of play, moderate gun owners have become convinced by the nra and other, even moorad cal gun organizations such as gun owners of america, that the goal of all gun safety advocates is to take
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aware their guns. these owners view even the most reasonable gun-safety proposals with suspicion, fearing a slippery slope to a ban on firearms. this paranoia is what gives the gun lobby its power." and there really is a lot of fear among gun owners. >> well -- >> in certain areas. >> -- when you have gun organizations after barack obama is elect the first same saying they're going to take all your guns away and then they repeat it after he gets elected a second time and people rush out and start buying guns, yeah, there is that paranoia. i think mark halperin, if you're really there -- do i have mark halperin -- maybe i need to do this with everybody that i toss so. i'm going to say a name and then you go check. mark halperin. >> halperin. >> check. >> okay, i can go to him. so mark, chuck schumer, i think, goes to great lengths to tell liberals, to tell progressives, hey, listen, you're not going to
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get them perfect. and you may even stop yourself from getting the good. so let's be realistic and let americans know, we don't want to take their guns away. we just want reasonable, rational limits on these assault weapons. >> you know, joe, i agree with you. if you want to move legislation in reaction to what happened in connecticut, having senators from new york and california be the face of it is not the smartest thing. but chuck schumer, go read his book, look at his as a strategist. he has been, like rahm emanuel, someone who understands that the country's not as progressive as their instincts are. and he's a great student of how to take the policies he wants to move forward and get them to be a more centrist sheen, a more centrist coalition. and i think his words to the left as well as to the center are pretty smart, and i think as a strategist, he's going to be key in this working with joe biden and others, maybe not the face of it, as you suggested. >> you know, the concern is if you don't move quickly, maybe something won't get done. i do think this is different. i hope that's not naive.
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but at the same time, how quickly do we need to move -- do democrats need to move -- in order to make sure this stays alive? because i think there is the concern about holding republicans, you know, so close -- their feet to the fire so quickly after this that they will pull back, that there has to be some sort of slow process, dianne feinstein. >> you don't want to let this go on for a year. >> no. >> it needs to move quickly. these commissions move quickly. >> it's going to call for a dramatic reversal on the part of republicans who don't seem to be ready to do that. >> it won't be a slow buildup, but al, they need to plan this out, to bring in people -- you talk about chuck schumer, new york guy, we were ticking off all the places i've lived throughout four or five years, big flats, new york, upstate new york. man, parts of wisconsin, more cornfields than buildings. when i lived there. and guns were a huge part of
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that culture. you need to explain to people in upstate new york and in rural wisconsin and in alabama, mississippi, georgia, all the places, that what chuck schumer is saying, hey, it's a bit of an education campaign. they're not coming to take away all of your guns unless you want to have a clip that will spray bullets in rapid succession at kids over a five-second time period. >> well, that's why it's important, as andrea, the always-missing sam stein said earlier -- >> where is that guy? >> -- that joe biden is heading this. i mean, it really is -- joe biden was made for this role. he put together coalitions. he dealt with this issue. he knows law enforcement. you've got to get republican mayors involved in this thing. you do have to, you know, if you spend your time in los angeles and new york, nothing will happen. but it may be that this is one of those rare moments. mika, you can't wait a year, as joe said. you have to start right away. but you're not going to get
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anything enacted in january, but you can build. and i think biden -- biden, you know, we all make fun of joe for some of his slip of the tongue. he's a very skillful man. he really understands how to get things done. >> he really is. and andrea, you brought up before about what senator manchin wants. i think what makes him important, not that he's senator manchin, but he was governor manchin of west virginia. he knows he's people p and he's just said, this can't just be about guns. i'm not going to support a bill if you're just going to kick the gun lobby. we're not going to take care of the bigger problem. you've got to talk about this culture of violence, and he's exactly right. and i loved when he talked about those video game makers in new york city. that's a nice move. and the same thing with -- and i think the white house understands this. and people in the white house i've talked to understands that they're going to have to go to hollywood. they're going to have to say, listen, you guys are a part of this, too. >> and that's their base. >> and that's their base. you're going to have to come to
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the table, and you either enforce yourself or we may have to take some steps. you've got that. and again, the biggest challenge is a mental health challenge that we have here. >> they have closed clinics around this country. there have been cutbacks despite what people say about the affordable care act actually bringing more services to people. a lot of that has not kicked in. they need to do something about that as well. what joe manchin is saying is, broaden this coalition. don't narrow cast it. and don't forget that joe manchin, that iconic ad, the gun, the long rifle hunting ad, which was perhaps the best tribute to the nra of any of the campaign ads. >> yeah. >> was joe manchin when he was running. >> a quick reality check. name a single republican elected official in the house and senate who have spoken differently about guns in the aftermath of the most emotional weeks after the shooting. not a single one. pro-dem democrats, how many are willing to go after capacity clips that go up to ten? if you keep capacity clips up to ten, that's still bang, bang,
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bang, reload, bang, bang, bang. >> joe manchin is good, but you need a republican, too. you need a prominent republican to be out front. i don't know if they can deliver people, but you really do. >> again, this is why it can't go quickly. we end where we begin this block. because this is going to have to be a campaign. >> the state of the union has to be a big moment. >> campaign and local sheriffs, like i said, you know, nascar drivers, country music stars, people need -- that live in the culture, that know the culture, that are connected to the culture need to come out and say, i'm a hunter. my dad took me out hunting when i was 7 years old in, you know, tennessee, whatever. i don't need an assault weapon with high-capacity -- i mean, so there's going to be -- there's going to have to be an education. and these republicans are going to have to be given cover to know that their base wants them to do this. >> i think there's a moment, some of them have missed, at least. still ahead, dr. zbigniew
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brzezinski and dee dee myers. we're back in a moment.
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up next, how will these fiscal cliff negotiations shape president obama's legacy? "the washington post's" bob woodward and kelly o'donnell join us next. keep it right here on "morning joe." good morning.
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♪ they keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes. and i don't know how much of that just has to do with, you know, it is very hard for them to say yes to me. but, you know, at some point, you know, they've got to take me out of it and think about their
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voters. and think about what's best for the country. this is not a situation where i'm unwilling to compromise. this is not a situation where i'm trying to rub their face in anything. i think anybody who looks at this objectively would say that coming off my election, i have met them at least halfway in order to get something done for the country. >> my goodness. here we go. top of the hour, welcome back to "morning joe." >> you know, bob and i are saying, this time he has. >> he really has. i'm so glad to hear you saying that. >> it only took me four years to say it. this is the first time in four years where i -- where i've sensed that the president has really reached out -- >> yeah. >> -- and stood up to his base and said, you are going to hate the adjustments i'm going to make on the indexing, you're going to hate the fact i'm going -- i promised $250,000, i wasn't going to budge from that.
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i'm up to $400,000. we all knew he'd go up to $500,000, maybe even $600,000 as a bottom limit. he has moved. >> no one's supposed to like the outcome on the either side. they're supposed to agree. >> that's the real challenge. and i will tell you, democrats, progressives, are up in arms about him hiking up to $400,000 knowing it's going to get up to at least $500,000, and also the cost of living index adjustments -- that enrages. do you know, that takes -- in the next decade, which is the crushing decade for medicare and medicaid, $1 trillion out of the pockets of medicare recipients. so that ain't nothing. the republican party needs to understand -- >> boehner's moved on taxes. >> boehner's moved on taxes. >> and this is an indoctrinated principle with these people. and what's so weird, until 10:00 last night, i was talking to people in the white house and on the hill about this.
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if you look at what the difference is, it's almost about 300 million -- >> billion -- >> billion, i'm sorry, unfortunately, $300 billion, whether you count the interest savings in this over a decade. >> over a decade. >> and that that is not something that can't be bridged is -- >> bob, what's happening here? what i don't understand is when the president moved to $400,000, i thought that was significant. when john boehner moved to $1 million, we're going to raise taxes on millionaires. that was chuck schumer's position a year ago. this is significant movement. and suddenly the white house is waiting for a return call, and the next thing they know, boehner's out talking about plan b. >> but it looks like boehner has to run a test in the house to show that he's got all of these -- that he can hold republicans on the issue of actually raising taxes on people. >> that's exactly is. >> this is a dry run,
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presumably -- and this is an immense complication in this -- there's no trust between both sides here. and so i -- >> you can't get to trust if you're putting plans out to the press before you actually go to the person you're negotiating with. and kelly o'donnell, isn't that's what's happened again with plan b? they keep doing this. >> i don't doubt that speaker boehner probably told the president he was going to do this because it is a step required to get a deal done. i think when you see how close they actually are, people should feel somewhat comfortable about that. you have to go through a process. and republicans are trying to say, instead of raising taxes, we're going to make moves to shield people from the inevitable tax increase. so they're trying to kind of make this mental shift. and by putting it at a million-dollar threshold, even republicans who don't like taxes are a little more comfortable there. so by going through a vote, they demonstrate they can get the votes for an ultimate deal. >> i think grover norquist has even said. >> yes, he has.
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club for growth is not so happy about it, but to have the nor v norquist approval -- >> pretty big. >> if you took all the personalities here, obama and boehner, this should be worked out. >> yeah. >> you talk to people now, and they say, this is deadlock. now, maybe it will get -- >> this is the dry run? a dry run? this is a dry run for boehner? if he can pass this and he thinks he can passcompromise? >> yes. he can say, you're there, and i have their support. it's solid. you know, i'm not speaker just in name but in fact. i can call the shots, and i can make doctrine shift which, for the republicans, is like giving all their blood. you know that. >> what i don't understand, bob, and i said this yesterday, i would never in a million years vote for a tax increase that didn't have massive spending cuts attached. you know that 10-1 vote?
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i questioned in the debates? no. at least -- guarantee me 3-1. $3 in cuts for every $1 in revenue. they're just raising taxes for the first time in a quarter century without any spending cuts attached to it. >> they have an amendment for it. >> that will give them a 1-1 ratio of about $1 trillion in spending cuts which is not very much. and as you point out, quite low. >> 1-1 ratio. >> again, what is surprising is if this doesn't work and we know things can just spin out of control, that the payment of the people who can least afford to have these tax increases and government spending off the cliff or even into oblivion, you know, that's got to be something that's discussed at the table
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which is, you know, the speaker and the president. we can't let this happen. >> so mark halperin, just timingwise, is a real deal still possible? and what's the political price if this doesn't -- if they don't come to something, especially given now, given the events of the past week? i don't think americans were impressed with washington before what happened this week, and now i think it's going to go into a bad area. >> well, on your first question, as andrea pointed out, the senate's a little occupied by some other business, both the benghazi hearing as well as the funeral for senator inouye. i think it's going to fail on the first vote in the house. it's almost unimaginable to me that they're going to get a deal between the leadership and the white house, and it's going to pass the first time. maybe it will. but the history is it's got to fail once and bring it back, maybe fail twice. oftentimes on capitol hill, you have the leadership of the out party kind of gaming out public
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opinion. the white house megaphone is so much more powerful. there's some sense that there's a pr benefit to doing the plan b vote. i think it's going to make them weaker, even if it passes. and i think if there's a chance if they do bring it to a vote today, it won't pass. i think speaker boehner has to figure out a plan here that involves on the public relations front, not having an upper hand based on the events of the next 24 hours. and they're in danger of being the ones painted as the obstructionists to keep this from happening. >> can somebody just answer an ideological question for me? why would a conservative that's never voted for tax increases in 25 years vote for a bill that raises taxes and doesn't cut spending in the main bill? why? >> it wasn't an ideal gambit by boehner, it was a please give me more leverage. >> ask me to raise taxes. go ahead. >> say no. >> no. >> i know what you're going to say. >> no. >> so he made a gamble.
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he said to his party, if he we can get rid of this notion of holding this plan hostage, then we can negotiate from i abetter position on spending cuts. secondly -- and this is what al was talking about earlier -- there is the whole idea of his speakership at play here. he's going to have to be re-elected on the third. so he wants to get to a better place where he can negotiate spending cuts. what mark got at, this bill might not pass. why would republicans vote strictly for a tax hike on the wealthy? so he decides -- >> bob said this is like taking blood. this is like -- there are so many things i would vote for before i voted for a tax increase. there's so many things i would compromise on. >> which is why it's so difficult. >> the only way i would ever vote to give washington more money is if it meant that washington was giving up a lot more money in other areas. >> which is why they're attaching spending cuts to it now. >> what boehner has done is taken the temperature of
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republicans like ceos who are more than happy to have taxes go up, and then there's this element which so infrequently enters into the debate, and it's called common sense. >> right. >> it is now time to raise those taxes. >> common sense? >> i mean, whoever heard of that? but that is -- >> business leaders who have shunned the president for the better part of four years, they're on his side now. and republicans -- the leadership knows that. i don't know if the rank and file understand that. but you've got republicans -- you've got republican ceos, democratic ceos that have abandoned president obama that are now saying we need to deal. >> so the deal will require more democrats to help boehner get this through. that's the reality. because he will lose some republicans. so you've got to have enough in that package that democrats won't be repelled by so they can get this passed. >> so maybe it will work out. you know, then you get into the very important question of negotiating style. how are the president and
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boehner talking to each other? i understand -- and they've said these meetings are very short. 45 minutes. 50 minutes. the boehner complaint is the president does all the talking and says, this is why you should agree with me, and gives kind of philosophical arguments. the white house argument is against boehner, he comes in with talking points which he won't move from. it's almost like he's not in charge, and he can't say, okay, well, let's adjust this here. it's all talking points. so somebody needs one of the old-style negotiators needs to get in there and say -- i dug into some files here, how they did the bush tax cut. they sat around literally, and they made it up as they're sitting there at the table. we'll give you this. you get that. that's the way you negotiate. but that isn't happening. >> there is staff tactical work going on like that where they have the numbers and the yellow
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pad. we can maybe assume that they're working through. there's some of that, but you're right. >> but they can't do anything because the principles -- >> true. is anyone surprised that the president speaks the most and boehner is holding on to talking points? that actually is so much of who they are in their public stance as well. >> but that's not a negotiation. >> no. >> you need to -- if it's going to be done at the highest level, which they've decided on, they need to get under the hood. >> which is that after this, the debt ceiling thing will come up. and i was in a briefing with a couple senior administration officials, a bunch of reporters and senior administration officials, and they were asked, what about the debt controlling? will you negotiate that? and they quoted the godfather saying they will get nothing for that. they are tired of negotiating on brink brinksmanship. they want to get out of that pattern and start having regular conversations. >> but mark halperin, the only problem with that is the president of the united states is the president of the united states. and the burden falls on his shoulders more than it falls on the shoulders of 1 out of 435
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members of the house of representatives. that is the unfortunate political reality for the president of the united states. if i'm a back bencher, i can be as reckless and irresponsible as i want so long as i know i'm going to get re-elected two years from now. the president of the united states does not have that luxury that he may have had in the state senate in illinois. and he understands that. and it's extraordinarily frustrating. >> well, look, to me the critical moment, sometime probably in the next week is when the president and boehner get a deal, how that plays out afterwards. again, in the old world of washington before grass roots and twitter and everything else, the leaders would announce a deal, and then they'd figure out a way to do a joint whip operation. the minute they get a deal, it's going to be picked apart by both sides. they'll have to at that point put aside the fact that their relationship has been so rough, that there's a lack of trust and a lack of respect, even. and they'll have to figure out a way, how do we announce this to make it possible, maybe likely, to get 218 votes. that process of managing the
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public relations from the time they get a deal to the time it's on the house floor is going to be critical. and they're going to have to cooperate there more than they have up until now. >> kelly, are you hearing from any republicans on capitol hill on this and their ability to maybe move in any way, shape or form? >> what we are hearing is support for boehner from quite a number of them, which is to that issue that you mentioned of having to be re-elected as speaker, which is a real thing. and we're also hearing that it is very much in the dna of republicans to oppose tax increases, as you're talking about. so there is that resistance. i thought it was important when the president, in his short of short news conference, said he is so frequently reminded that so many of these republicans represent districts that he lost. so they're on-the-ground reality is different than his world view. so for them, there isn't the same level of push from their constituents to see a tax increase. they're more focused on the spending side. >> they're moving in the opposite direction. >> yes. >> i had a democrat on a couple
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weeks ago where i was making this point, and i asked, so how much did bush's victory in 2000 impact the realities for your political world? because i can tell you, bill clinton won in 1996, but he didn't win in my district. in fact, in my district, i was re-elected in a massive landslide under one promise. i'm going to stop bill clinton from raising your taxes. and those are those two realities, and that's the tug. it takes leadership on the highest level in washington. >> it does. it rests on the president's head. in the end -- and there's all -- talking about the public relations of this, there may be a short bounce that oh, the republicans screwed it up. but if the economy tanks or doesn't go into a recovery, which now lots of people expect, that comes on the president's head. i think boehner and the president need to spend more time together, and maybe the president should ask boehner
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down and say, bring your sleeping bag. we are going to spend time -- >> all right. >> and the president may even, not that any other president would do it or want to do it, may even say, i'll come see you. >> yeah. bring your sleeping bag and jammys. >> to the hill. >> all right. kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. >> good to see you. >> bob, stay with us if you can. congress holds a hearing today on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi a day after an independent report lays great blame at the feet of the state department. former national security adviser z zbigniew brzezinski joins us along with jane harman. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks.
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the board found that the security posture at the special mission compound was inadequate
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for the threat environment in benghazi and, in fact, grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place that night. state department bureaus that were supporting benghazi have not taken on security as a shared responsibility. so the support the post needed was often lacking and left to the working level to resolve. >> that was admiral mike mullen, vice chair of an independent panel that issued a scathing report on the state department's, quote, systemic failures in protecting u.s. diplomats in benghazi. joining us now from washington, former national security adviser for president carter, dr. zbigniew brzezinski who's the author of "strategic vision: america and the crisis of global power." dad, good to have you on. >> and you need to call him the great hunter. >> yes, he is a hunter. and former democratic congresswoman from california and director and president of the woodrow wilson center, jane harman. and bob woodward still at the table as well. good to have you with us today. where do we begin?
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benghazi? >> let's start with the benghazi report. dr. brzezinski, what was your take on it? >> it's a powerful report. it points the finger where the finger should be pointed. it seems to me that as i understand it, some people are resigning. that's probably proper, even though sad. at the same time, i don't feel that people should be pointing fingers at the secretary because in a big bureaucracy, in a big government, a lot of decisions are made at different levels. and, of course, there's responsibility for these decisions. but unless the top person sets the wrong tone and sets the wrong direction, that person can't be held accountable for every decision made by supporting it. >> jane, it was a scathing report. just a high level of negligence, grocery inadequate security. how does that happen in a country that has had its dictator of 30 years removed overnight?
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>> well, let's understand the history here. our embassies have been under siege since the '80s. we lost an embassy in beirut. we lost two in africa in the '90s. and there have been other attacks. and so attention should have been paid a long time ago, joe, before you and i even got to congress. and this is multiple failures over many administrations. and this administration, this state department should have paid more attention, too. how does this happen? first of all, we should have had more resources, both financial and people, but second of all, the host country has to protect our consulates and embassies. we can't protect them by ourselves, a point that john kerry made yesterday. i worry about our embassy in egypt which was attacked by hooligans. it was a small attack, but there's another place where there's uproar in the streets over this referendum about the constitution, the next set of votes is saturday. there's a big protest planned tomorrow. and we need these countries to protect us. we have to project our diplomatic assets into these countries, or i think america
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will never be fully understood. >> but how can you let hillary clinton off the hook on this? >> i'm not for letting her off the hook. >> she is the boss. and if you really dig into this, it's a policy question. what is the policy going to be for security in these embassies, and there's a lot of documentation saying they were -- they knew in libya it was violent, they were striving for a policy of normalization. well, in that -- you know, that violence, with so much going on, you can't normalize. it's the responsibility of the person at the top, always. >> it always is. and it's the responsibility of the president, too. but hillary clinton took responsibility. weeks ago she sent a very thorough letter to the state department after this excellent report written by people she appointed was released a day ago. and she will testify. everyone says so. as soon as she's well. i'm surprised she hasn't been
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ill before this given her grueling schedule. yes, it's her responsibility, and yes, it was the responsibility of her predecessors going back years to do more then. and going forward, if we don't learn these lessons now, we put our diplomats in impossible situations. but bob, i disagree. we have to project diplomacy. diplomats are ones who step up to take these risks. and i applaud those who do it in order to project american values around the world. >> sure, you can do that, but you don't -- and you can also have security, sufficient security. >> i agree. >> and they did not in this case. >> i'm going to ask dr. brzezinski about chuck hagel and john kerry in one moment. but mark halperin, first, set it up for us, the politics in washington. what in the world is going on with this campaign to discredit chuck hagel, a republican? >> well, his supporters are rallying, a little bit belated. you look at the susan rice
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experience, you just can't, in this day and age, be out there as an unnominated person whose name is being speculated about if there are people opposed to you. and there's a coalition of partisan republicans and people who look at senator hagel's past statements on the middle east in particular, and they don't want him to be secretary of defense. and they've launched a campaign much earlier and stronger than his supporters have done. his supporters are now coming back, but it's very difficult. again, as susan rice showed. if you're not actually nominated, if you don't have the full war room being run by the executive branch on your behalf and you're alliant on casual exchanges of your supporters inside and outside of government, it's difficult to do. i don't really know if the president fully intended or intends to nominate senator hagel, but he's in a tough position now because like susan rice, the loud voices are coming from those who oppose him, again, particularly supporters of israel who believe he's not as strong there as they'd like to see. >> dr. brzezinski, let's talk
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about chuck hagel. would he be an effective secretary of defense, first of all, and secondly, what is your take on this campaign, a very concerted campaign against his nomination? >> you know, unlike some of his critics and some of them were described yesterday on the op-ed page of "the washington post," he has fought for this country. he has been wounded for this country. he is a man who knows what war is like. he is a man who also knows that war should be the last resort, which is not the view of his critics. they would like to plunge the united states into some new wars promptly, and not necessarily for u.s. national interests. so i don't have much sympathy for the critics. but i have a strong feeling that he and kerry would infuse into our foreign policy what is very much needed, and that is a sense of strategic significance, that is to say preoccupation with the problems that we're slowly,
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collectively sliding into. what do i have in mind? basically this. if you look at the world from north korea all the way to niger, that whole part of the world on the map, if you drew a line around it, is sliding into turmoil. and we're going to be challenged there. and i think the kerry/hagel team is very well positioned by their experience, by their knowledge, by their life lessons to deal with this in a serious, strategic fashion. now, when the president appointed secretary clinton to be secretary of state, he made a grand political bargain. but in a way he divided foreign policy between the state department and the white house. and secretary clinton was terrific, moving around, very energetic, but she also had an agenda, which is human rights, which is development on global issues, which are gender issues, and she cared lessor was less involved in the really timely, important strategic issues. >> but no one knows -- >> be it the middle east or be
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it syria or be it north korea. so my final point is this. you had your say. >> i was waving off bob. final point. >> just stay out of the way. go ahead. >> the president should not let people hang out there. >> right. >> if he is inclined to think they're good, he should appoint them, and he should fight for them. just letting them hang out there and then be destroyed by naysayers and particularly people who are attacking hagel who are really, i think, vicious is shameful. >> i agree. >> zbigniew, you say there is a division between the white house and the state department on foreign policy. as you well know, there always is. that is almost -- >> that's not the point. >> but -- >> that's not the point. >> what is the point? >> the point is there may be differences of opinion between state and the white house, but in some administrations, either the white house is clearly preponderant or herely secretary of state is preponderant.
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>> think about nixon and kissinger where there was a harmony, but also i think hillary clinton has pushed a bigger agenda -- my turn -- than just human rights and women's rights, as important as they are. i think she's been very muscular on the use of force where necessary. she was an excellent senator and viewed as hawkish, as i was, too, in the house. and so was joe. on a lot of the challenges against the u.s. from this terror threat. but the other point i want to make is she was lashed together with bob gates when he was the secretary of defense. he's the one who said the state department needs more money. and i think going forward, there is a disturbing pattern of putting people out there and letting them be target practice. the president has the right to nominate who he chooses. he should frame the debate about these people. they're subject to a confirmation process. people can oppose him, but he is going to, it seems to me, if this continues, make good people not want to participate. >> but the trial balloons come from the white house where they
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say oh, let's put this name out there. >> that's what's wrong. >> you know, kind of let them twist in the wind slowly and see how the target practice -- >> that's wrong. >> develops and whether it's effective. >> it's demoralizing. >> you have to say this is what we're going to do, and this is where we're going, and there's a hesitancy to do that. >> mark halperin has a question for dr. brzezinski. mark? >> doctor, no what matter who ends up at state and defense, it's clear that tom donelan will still drive a lot of foreign policy decisions. if we end up with a donelan/kerry/hagel foreign policy team, what is the philosophy there? what is the foreign policy vision that you think would emerge from those three gentlemen in those jobs? >> i think the long-range vision is one that would be shared, for example, with secretary clinton, that is to say global issues, development, justice, human rights and so forth. but the more immediate problems which really need serious attention are how do we handle the growing crisis in the far east?
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asia is sliding into intensifying nationalism. there could be military clashes any day between china and japan of violence. the whole region is becoming more tense. after we leave afghanistan, i think the problems in the region will slide northward to central asia. that will involve in different ways china, russia and india. we have a crisis on our hands in syria. we have pressures to go to war against iran. these are the kind of issues that really need attentive leadership from the secretary of state that is intensely interested in them and has the kind of experience and global background that is needed for that kind of job. >> i just want to add to the list the recent north korea missile test, rocket test, aka, a missile test, and the close collaboration between north korea and iran. iran is pretty advanced on miniaturizing nuclear warheads. and north korea is very advanced on missiles. and if that collaboration continues, we may have a very
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serious confrontation. >> and so there's no island of stability out there in this from north korea all the way into africa. and a lot of the intel people say that the next four years may be dominated by a series of crises and meltdowns. and that, you know, i think that's quite likely or certainly more likely than the idea that there's going to be a period of peace. >> and having a secretary of state and a secretary of defense who have fought in wars and who know what wars are like, i think gives us an assurance that they will be knowledgeable, responsible, but not hasty in plunging us into wars. >> dr. zbigniew brzezinski and jane harman. >> call him dad. >> i'll see you in a few days. i'm excited for christmas. i guess we're having venison. >> did you -- >> yeah. >> -- go out hunting yesterday
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before christmas dinner? >> yes, i did. >> all right. you're quite the hunter, aren't you? >> i can't wait. >> i'll be very happy to have my gun registered, pose for a photograph, take a psychological test or whatever is needed. >> there you go. >> shotgun. >> it's pretty simple. coming up -- thank you all so much -- senator chuck schumer will join us. former white house press secretary, dee dee myers. also nbc news political director, chuck todd. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." hey, look! a shooting star! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit,
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welcome back to "morning joe" on this snowy thursday morning in wisconsin, iowa, nebraska and kansas and missouri. a difficult morning to drive. numerous people with schools canceled and delayed. in chicago, it's a warm, rainy morning for you. you're on the warm side of this storm. but watch out. you should be driving home in the snow later on today. of course, that means the roads will probably be icing up, too. well, the big story this morning is the major winter storm. but it's down towards the gulf. this storm is so large and humg. it's sn huge. it's snowing in wisconsin. that cold air is trying to head south. we've had tornadoes this morning. we know of one that went through mobile an hour and a half ago. fire and rescue crews making sure everyone's okay.
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no reports of injuries or deaths at the time. power outages and a lot of roads closed. they're still trying to assess the damage towards sunrise in southern alabama. that threat continues till noon. much of the florida panhandle and especially into alabama on interstate 65. one strong storm. we'll watch you in montgomery about two hours from now. as far as the rest of the forecast goes, of course, we're watching the blizzard conditions. des moines had about a foot of snow. still snowing. now the worst of it's wisconsin and northern michigan. and the winds are just howling out there. we've got wind gusts now up to 40 to 50 miles per hour in kansas city. so you can just imagine the airport delays. probably not even allowing flights to go early today. the forecast for the east coast, by the way, we're going to be nice early in the day. but all of that rainy weather will make its way to d.c., virginia and the carolinas late today into this evening. oh, yeah, our friends in the northwe northwest, you've also got a big storm. one after another across the country. coming up next on "morning joe," the beautiful, the lovely mr. universe, chuck todd.
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obviously, he can't hear me. there he goes. we'll also talk about the fourth and final e-book about the twists and turns that decided the 2012 election. "politico's" jonathan martin joins the table down in d.c. next on "morning joe." hey big guy,
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44 past the hour. here with us now, nbc news white house correspondent and political director and host of "the daily rundown," chuck todd. and senior political writer for "politico," jonathan martin who is the co-author of the new e-book, "the end of the line," which is apparently selling like hotcakes. >> it's doing well. it's doing well. >> that's great! >> on amazon.com, itunes, all of your local retailers. >> really? and rated highly.
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>> localretailer.com. >> amazon. $2.99. >> $2.99? >> less than a latte. >> that's it? less than a lahwsuitte for an e? >> everybody should have it twice for their various devices. >> think about how much we pay for a cup of coffee. i love starbucks, but really? >> seriously? >> yeah, i am. do you have a problem with that? >> you're not going to be on the show tomorrow. >> hey, we're brewed by sar bucks, but it's expensive. i'm sorry. i think it is too much. i think they need to simmer down with the prices. would you like me to go on? i mean, listen, i have my venti every day, but you think about an e-book and a starbucks being the same, that kind of gives you some perspective. okay. all right. we digress just a tad bit. chuck todd, plan b, speaker boehner, what's going on here? help me out. >> i'm trying to figure it out.
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>> what's the defense? >> the logic is, there's no good upside politically for him to cut a deal, period. and so -- >> how about the country? >> this is -- >> is there a good for the country in. >> well, i'm just talking about the pure politics because it's the only logic that makes sense. >> we're still there? >> three straight days he's working on passing a bill that has no chance to become law. i don't get it. i get the politics, and maybe he came to the conclusion that he can't cut a deal until after the cliff happens. he can't -- because it's just politically that precarious for him. but this seems like an utter wasted opportunity. and this time, you could question last time who was trying to move the goalpost. it was neither. and neither side -- ultimately they were both wary of cutting a deal. this time it's boehner. it was his turn to respond, and they were almost there. and he just -- >> i've got a question for you. how much does his election as speaker weigh on him? >> i don't buy that.
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i don't buy that. i've heard this theory, he's going to be speaker no matter what. that's not the issue. the only person two defeat him is paul ryan, and he's not going to do that. that's not in paul ryan's dna. he's no the that kind of -- >> isn't the most logical explanation for this, that he has to show to his members that he's doing everything he can to extract whatever he can -- he can't let it -- >> that's the thing. >> we can't lose it because then it's an embarrassment. >> they won't vote on it if he's going to lose. >> they won't bring it to the floor. >> we're also really down to the wire here. i mean, how do you get something real at this point? >> not only that, we have less days -- the senate is only going to be the senate, for instance, only can work through saturday morning because a bunch of them are going to hawaii for senator inouye's funeral. >> right. >> so that shuts down any work to be done on the 22nd, the 23rd and 24th. so then they have to come back the 27th -- as little time there
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is, there's even less. that's my point. >> do you think that the republicans are in any way, shape or form playing differently than they have before? has anything changed? are they -- is there -- >> yeah, i think the one thing that's changed, i don't think the republican party is united. and if boehner messes around too long, i think you'll start hearing more and more senate republicans in the rank and file start to complain loudly. >> that's the other question. >> you're hearing them grumble right now, but the grumble is going well, they're all looking at it on the bright side. well, maybe boehner's trying to bring along the conservative. they're, like, giving him this last moment. >> that's the other thing. remember in 2011 when it looked really bleak right before the debt ceiling, it was mitch mcconnell who stepped in and tried to find a solution. >> but politically he can't. >> explain that. >> politically he can't because it's bad politics for him. he's got 2014. and cornyn both have to worry about that. >> let's look at "the end of the
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line" in our final moments here which talks about what tipped the scales for obama at the end of the 2012 election. and i wonder how that plays into today or not. because it does feel like nothing's changed. and i'm not trying to be arrogant because i think this line is arrogant, but he did win the election. shouldn't that have some impact on where we are now? >> we found out in the e-book is that president obama basically rolled the dice in may. and they decided to spend their fall budget over the spring and summer trying to define governor romney. it was a bit of a risk because they weren't sure the money was going to be there back in the fall, but they defined governor romney in the spring and summer. and governor romney never got off this idea that the campaign, mika, was going to be a referendum on obama and the economy. and it ultimately and it ultimately wasn't. by the time the romney campaign realized that it was after labor day and governor romney was already defined. >> they just were too slow on some key basic campaign -- >> they wanted to make it about obama and never tell the romney story.
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this was a tension going on for years, mika. we found out there was a mormon documentarian who followed romney around behind the scenes and cut a documentary. the family liked. the staff saw it in 2010 and said, heck, no. it shows too much of the candidate's mormonism. there was always this tension about how to show the real romney and they could never figure it out. >> the best part of the convention -- >> were the testimonials. >> i've never heard of a losing candidate where you hear someone say, no one ever really got to know the real john kerry, the real al gore. it is amazing. is that just part of losing? i mean, it's like -- no, where was his sense of humor during the campaign with al gore? boy if he only showed that -- >> it's usually challengers. >> it is. >> challengers want to make it about the incumbent president. unemployment is over 8% and that was -- that was the idea that,
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look, this will be entirely about president obama and the economy. guess what? it turned out it wasn't about -- >> they got caught in their own debate. >> was there ever a debate, i'm sure there was. but who was arguing for doing that pivot they did at the first debate earlier than that? and how serious was it to do something to that closer to the convention as opposed to waiting for the first debate? >> i think it was obvious to make it about obama for most of the spring and summer. i think ed gillespie realized there were problems with hispanics and women they had to resolve. they didn't try to fix that until after labor day and by then, the dye had been cast. >> everyone had always criticized him for being this chameleon. in the end, he stuck to -- >> he was too consistent. >> until too late. >> there was not a lot of infighting in the spring and summer over this, but they tried to finally make it a choice in the fall instead of the referendum. by then, he was already defined.
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>> you can find out more in the new ebook "the end of the line." >> $2.99. >> you can do both. >> with your cup of coffee. >> mr. schultz, i think what people ought to do if they go to a starbucks -- >> buy it there. >> they bring their mobile device -- >> their laptop, iphone. >> using the starbucks wifi and have a delicious starbucks. >> $4 cup of coffee. >> you can come sponsor our show. >> i keep it real. i'm just going to -- chuck, thank you very much. see you ahead in the daily rundown. and jonathan martin, thank you very much. coming up, senator chuck schumer will be here. his thoughts on the fiscal cliff and gun control. we're back in a moment.
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looking ahead to tomorrow, the nonmustached david axelrod will be back on the show. also famed uconn women's basketball coach gino auriemma. what they are doing in the honor of the victims of sandy hook. more "morning joe" in a minute. what's next?
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willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good. >> good morning. it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. on the west coast as you take a live look at washington. back with us on set, al hunt, andrea mitchell, sam stein and mark halperin in new york. al, this is -- i'm at a loss what's going on in washington. i mean, we can all assign blame. i, right now, am especially curious with what's going through my party's mind on the fiscal cliff. but what -- why the breakdown? you know, if you are a republican you say i'll raise taxes. you have crossed the line. you have crossed the rubicon, and it's all a matter of details at this point. the president has gone from 250 which -- he's talked about that since 2008. that's his number. it won't be a dime more than 250. he goes up to 400.
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this deal should be done. what's going on? >> joe, it's even worse than that. if you look at the spending and the revenue side, they are talking about a little over $2 trillion now, the trillion before. they are about, over ten years, about $250 billion apart. that's all. they are $200 billion apart on revenues. $50 billion apart on spending. >> over ten years, that's -- that's nothing. >> can you imagine a bob dole or george mitchell not getting that done right away? >> no. >> and on the -- the president did go to 400 on the tax level. i think it's clear he probably would go to 500 too. >> sure. >> and the really important thing he did, he went along with the republican demands and entitlements on cola and means testing affluent seniors for medicare. that's not as far as some wanted to go, but it is -- >> there is no doubt the president -- that the white house is getting killed by the left wing on -- and i think that really is the measure. they are getting killed because --
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>> andrea, i criticized the white house a month or two ago about the president always being courageous. but he's always courageous standing up to the right on the health care bill, the stimulus, all these things that the republicans weren't going to support anyway. but here going from 250 to 400 is significant. here, talking about the cost of living adjustments, that's a lot of money over time. i thought boehner going to a million was significant as well. they've all sacrificed. they've all offended their base. why can't they get this deal done? >> it's really stunning in that i interviewed nancy pelosi the other day. and she was really, clearly, taking it from the progressive wing of her party on the chain cola, but willing to go along with it. >> explain that. we're talking about it. what that means is that means a lot less money in seniors' pockets. a lot less money as far as cost of living. it's a lot of money over a decade. >> and economists say that it is
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a more accurate way of computing the cost of living increase. so they can justify it by saying we're really doing it accurately and we're not taking money away from you. but they are taking money away from the current way of computing it. so it is a mathematical adjustment that is picking up a lot of bucks. but the president did make some very serious moves that have offended his base. and now why john boehner is asking his base to vote for something that goes against republican principles, raising rates, when they know it as a nonstarter. it's not going to pass the senate. it's going to be vetoed if it were to pass, vetoed by the white house. and why waste the time. >> this is what i don't understand and i haven't heard a good explanation for it yet, sam stein. the president is at 400. i remember when i heard he jumped from 250 to 400 for the first time in four or five years. since he first started campaigning. that's huge because i've been saying ad nauseam, you can't raise taxes on small business
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owners making $250,000. you just can't do it. not in this economy. you get to 400, you get to 500. it's always been 400. and then boehner did a million. i said that's great. these guys are coming together. i really thought that number was going to be 500 and the president would take 500 i think. then suddenly john boehner makes this -- starts talking about plan b and i get confused. why are they calling it plan b? >> awkward branding. >> first of all, it's awkward branding. do you need us to tell you what plan b is. >> rick santorum would not support this. >> out of principle -- >> let me make a point to that. i went back and looked at -- there's this great david brooks column from july 2011 when they were first negotiating the debt ceiling. and he encouraged republicans to vote for this deal. he said you'll never get an opportunity like this. you have to recognize victory
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when you have it in hand. that deal was significantly better for republicans than this deal. that deal they could have had medicare eligibility go up. at some point he has to say, we have a win here. let's take the win. i'm not sure he's quite there yet. perhaps this vote on plan b is a way to go back and say, i fought for something in addition to this. it couldn't get past the white house or the senate but we have to fall back on this compromise. >> this does bear repeating because i am sure i'll get criticized by some people on the hill. republicans on the hill here. for four years i've attacked the president for not sitting down and talking to small business owners, midsize business owners and ceos. we all talk to the top ceos in america over the past four years. he said this guy just doesn't get it. he has no idea how to create a job. guess what? the ceos are all on his side. the very ceos who were offended
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by what the president did over the past four years, almost all of them are now going to the white house, going back to the hill, trying to figure out why republicans are not finishing this deal. maybe the republicans will finish the deal. but it's important for americans to understand where these ceos are. they need a deal to be done. and they don't need these political games being played at this late hour. >> there's no doubt you're right. but the white house has done a ton of reaching out. something you and others have suggested they should have done a lot earlier. that has not produced, though, the imperative that we not go over the cliff. there's such a willingness to go over the cliff by people on both sides. i think that's a real problem because you can only get a deal if there's a lot of pressure. this is the easy part, though. getting a deal between boehner and the president is the easy part. the tough part is getting a majority in the house. i still think it's going to be more democratic votes than republican votes to get passed. and that's the challenge for
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boehner. he's not ready to pull that yet. to some extent the plan b is an attempt for him to give his people a chance to vote for something they want to be for but then it's going to have to shift more to the president's strength than speaker boehner. he's going to have to be willing as a patriot and someone who doesn't want us to go to the dloif bring something to the floor that's basically a more democratic than republican plan. >> if he had taken obama's offer, he could have tweaked it a bit. he could have declared victory and he would have had great support for that from the democratic left. they all would have accused obama of selling out, and would not have been a case lacking in -- the boehner case. was a real genuine compromise. and the white house really thought that's what he'd do. the second thing it may well be that what john boehner has to do is start dealing on january 4th because january 5th is when he is re-elected as speaker. some right wing members of his
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caucus may be furious that they wouldn't vote for him. >> what i am told may end up happening, you have a number of problems on the senate side on friday. there is the funeral for danny inouye tomorrow. that's going to take up a lot of tomorrow. there's the viewing today. you have the benghazi hearings. you have to get past that. time is rung oning out on the calendar. what i'm hearing is go home for christmas and come back the day after. come back on the 26th. >> plan b as a diversion makes sense if they were still talking. but they're not talking. according to senior white house officials, they haven't talked since monday. in normal circumstances, maybe that works but we're getting to the point where you have to strike a deal. >> actually if they don't strike a deal in the next day or so, you can't write something this big by the end of the -- >> correct. >> andrew is right. >> you have to start piecing this -- >> they'll probably end up going home for christmas. they'll get an earful from people and then come back and
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pass quickly. >> and they do have stuff written. they have pieces according to conrad and budget leaders in both houses. they have the second -- >> conrad was sure they'd have a deal. >> everybody was sure they'd have a deal. >> obama was sure. >> you know, on monday, i think the white house was, as one person put it, wildly optimistic. i think they were. i think that just changed dramatically. >> let's talk about washington, the culture of washington. we've talked about it a lot on this show how things have changed so much over the past t 10, 15 years. they're separate. and i know people that, you know in the -- sort of the political bubble say, we're talking about two completely different things when you talk about negotiating and washington working together, negotiating on this bill and what happened in newtown. but in middle america, nothing happens in a bubble. people are still shattered by that. and anybody that is dragging
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their feet, fighting, seeming petty, less than a week after -- i'm sorry, this is the worst tragedy i can think of as far as just shattering the soul of this country. i say since 9/11. in my lifetime. 9/11 and this. and i guess you'd have to go back to kennedy's assassination. i can't believe how shaken -- people are just talking about this all the time. you are looking at washington squabbling over numbers. and since they've already decided on the big issues, just thinking, this is so dysfunctional. whoever gets the blame for this, it's in big trouble politically. >> yeah. no question. and it's not just on the fiscal stuff. it's in other things, too. i thought you were incredibly eloquent statement last week reflects what a lot of people
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feel, including a lot of people who have had reservations before about doing something on guns. for instance. that fight is just about to begin. the high water mark for doing things, i'm afraid, the high water mark for addressing the gun issue is right now. it will go downhill from there because the petty -- i mean, picking on stephen king, the other day literally said, literally said, i don't understand all this stuff about guns. i had cap pistols growing up and nobody died. >> does anyone realize what these mags meant in terms of those children? i don't want to go there, but the fact is -- >> no go there. >> we've got to go there. >> you can assume, you know, what you can about what actually happened in those moments. joe califano wrote about what you said on monday, what joe califano wrote about in "the washington post" is lbj brought them into the room after robert kennedy was killed and said we have ten days before the nra
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gets mobilized. ten days to accomplish -- the bill was sitting in the judiciary committee, the gun bans. from the time when john f. kennedy was killed. now martin luther king joour, robert kennedy was killed. he said you have to get this done. they did what they could and came up with a much smaller bill which was signed, regretfully, by lbj in october. >> i don't have the historical perspective that andrea has, but -- >> you didn't cover that? >> no, sorry, i missed it. i have covered the four incidents of gun violence under obama. the scariest thing for newtown was when i g-chatted my fellow editor in new york to plot out coverage and we knew exactly what to do because we'd done it three times before. it had gone so routine and so disturbing. i'm worried i'm going to be writing the same stories that i did after every single -- >> we can't desensitize ourselves to this. >> we're not going to. and i -- i have heard about '68
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as far as what califano said and how quickly we have to move. this is different. the horrors of martin luther king, the horrors of bobby kennedy, the horrors of all the violence, the gun violence through the years, a million americans killed. mark halperin, as horrific as all of those murders have been, nothing -- nothing has jarred americans like what happened last friday. it just hasn't. and americans aren't going to forget this. they are not going to forget this. and they are expecting action. and you worry again if republicans and democrats can't come to a decision on basically rounding errors over ten years, how are they going to address the bigger issues? >> well, we don't really know how the fiscal cliff is going to play out and how it's going to
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interact with this. joe biden was not chosen casually by by accident. he has such a long history with these, including working with law enforcement. this is the piecein the force s. we talked about the national reaction. the president's reaction. some reaction in the media. if law enforcement groups are marginal by joe biden as they were marginal by him, i think that could make a huge difference in pressuring, not all republicans, but some republicans to work on a common agenda with the president and there's no doubt that's what he wants. he doesn't want this to be done in a partisan way. joe biden is the guy that can do that. >> there's a responsibility for democrats, for people like dianne feinstein and chuck schumer, our friend who is going to be on. they can't -- andrea, they can't be leading this bill. dianne feinstein and chuck schumer and barbara boxer, the people who want this the most are going to have -- going to have to let people like joe manchin step forward.
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because if joe manchin is leading this bill and police officers are behind this bill, law enforcement officers across america, local sheriffs in hometowns are behind this bill, it's going to make a huge difference. >> what joe manchin is saying is that you have to put other things into this. you have to do the education, the mental health, the centers and the cultural aspects as well as guns. you have to broaden this coalition. that's his main pitch. i was so struck and forgive me, i can't remember the names, you'll know it, of the syracuse basketball coach, the winning coach. 900 victories who in his locker room victory moment didn't want to talk about his victories on the court. he wanted to talk about guns. the athletic figures, you know -- cruz and all the others. >> you have sports figures, country music stars, you'll have hometown -- >> it's culturally -- >> sheriffs. i think the biggest shock to me
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is this week -- i haven't been hearing from a lot of liberals. conservatives, nra members, hunters. my friends from across the south, republican party chairmen from the deep south calling me up saying, we've got to do something. they say it, not me. the crazies have taken over the nra. the crazies have taken over my organization. they have taken over gun ownership. no, i'm the gun owner that the nra was made for. i hunt. i have a gun to protect my family, and i just -- i can't wait to hear what the nra says tomorrow. i hope it's positive. they say they'll be constructive. and i salute them. but they better be because the world has changed. >> and there's been studies by it. they did a poll on this stuff where he polled nra members about what kind of gun policy
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control they'd be supportive of and it was reasonable stuff. background checks, some limitations. police coordination of data. stuff that makes common sense. and my guess is that the nra, if they want to have a constructive role in here will come out on friday and say we can support x, y and z. it's not going to be an assault weapons ban. people are diluting themselves if the nra comes out and says we can do an assault weapons ban. but hopefully you can get something like high capacity magazines, things that can shoot 100 rounds -- >> they just have to. when we come back, the roundtable continues with chuck schumer, dee dee myers and reagan biographer craig shirley. first bill karins with a check of the forecast. >> this morning all the news has been in the deep south. possibility of tornadoes right through about noon today. we know we had one possible tornado go through the mobile, alabama, area. happy to report it was only
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structural damage and downed trees. lots of power lines. have not heard anything about injuries or fatalities. so looks like it was a weaker storm as it went through there. quote/unquote weaker. that threat continues into alabama and georgia later on today. right now just plain old rain there around atlanta. from montgomery southward through the florida panhandle, stay tuned and have your weather radio handy. tornado sirens have been going off all over southern alabama this morning. as far as the blizzard goes, it's not a fun drive from kansas city to columbia. two-hour airport delays at o'hare. it's not even snowing. you'll get your snow later on. the roads are almost impossible to drive on in sections of kansas, nebraska, iowa and now wisconsin where this full-fledged blizzard is under way. the winds are gusting. in kansas city, 50 miles an hour in snow right now. windchills heading down into the single digits. not fun. in the northwest, you have another storm you're deal with. boom, boom, bool, all across the
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country. one storm after another. there's the airport delays. just o'hare right now. heads-up for everybody on the east coast. tomorrow morning this storm system gets toward us. major airport problems and commuting problems early tomorrow morning, especially from d.c. up to boston where we could deal with very strong winds and a lot of heavy rain. so thankfully this is happening right before christmas. hopefully we'll try to calm it down by the weekend. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 this morning, i'm going to trade in hong kong.
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this is not the first issue, the first incident of horrific gun violence of your four years. where have you been? >> here's where i've been, jake. i've been president of the united states dealing with the worst economic crisis since the great depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars, i don't think i've been on vacation. and so, you know, i think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize what we do here in washington. this should be a wake-up call for all of us to say that if we are not getting a right, we need to keep our children safe, then nothing else matters. and it's my commitment to make sure that we do everything we can to keep our children safe. a lot of things go -- are involved in that, jake.
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so making sure they got decent health care and making sure they've got a good education, making sure that their parents have jobs, those are all relevant as well. those aren't just sort of side issues. >> welcome back to "morning joe." we're here in washington. 25 past the hour. here with us now on the set in washington, democratic senator chalk schumer of new york. also former white house press secretary under president clinton and contributing editor to "vanity fair" dee dee myers and craig shirley, the author of "rendezvous with destiny." senator schumer, we read part of your opinion piece this morning talking about how the gun lobby in part is paired by paranoia and other things that may lead to a clash over these issues which we'll get to in a second because that seems to me, craig, to be concerning because we've
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reached out to talk to a bunch of leading republicans, even just behind the scenes to talk to get a sense of how they are feeling in all of this because we can't get anybody on the air. and some of them are not available to talk until friday. and i'm doing the math in my mind here and i'm thinking, could they be waiting for the nra? are you serious? and isn't there a moment where you have to just step out and lead and not wait for some -- for -- >> there have been some people who stepped out. joe has stepped out. other people have stepped out. >> besides joe, who? >> well, scarborough is a republican, conservative republican. >> give me a republican? >> i think there's probably a lot of conversation. i'm sure there's a lot of conversation going on all over this country among conservative republicans. i think the senator's piece is very instructive as far as what is accomplished and what can be done. i would say the one thing is that if i was going to give strategic advice to democrats and liberals is attacking conservatives and republicans
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and supporters of the second amendment is not the way to get things done. you want to truly get things done, you'll have to reach across the aisle and find, you know, the tired old phrase common ground. you have to find that. if this administration and democrats and liberals want to get things done, that's what they'll have to get done. >> senator schumer, it's an awkward moment for republicans on the -- in the news issues. is there a risk of sort of trying to ram this down their throats to the point where it's not fair. you have to -- >> we won't pass anything because the house is republican controlled. in all fairness, there have been a good number of democrats that are as pro gun. it's a little bit more of a -- it's a party issue in some ways, but it's always a geographic issue. middle of the country. and what i've tried to do is say to my fellow progressives, there's a common ground here. i do this at gun clubs in upstate new york. i say, look. i believe you have a right to bear arms, and i understand that you resent some on the left who
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say the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth amendments should be seen as expansively as possible. but the second amendment should just be seen through the pin hole of militias and only affects the national guard. then once that is admitted, the gun owner, the pro gun people should admit that no amendment is absolute. we love the first amendment but you can't falsely scream fire in a crowded theater. we have anti-child pornography laws and limits like the brady law make sense. and i think there can be a middle ground here. what's happened is the extremists in the gun movement use, first some for their own purposes. chuck schumer is going to take away your gun. the hunting rifle your uncle willy gave you when you were 10 years old. but they also use the fact that some say we should ban guns. the second amendment doesn't have a place in the constitution. and if we can come together and say, look, there's a right to bear arms. it's constitutional. it's a way of life in many parts
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of the country. i went hunting with ben nelson, and i actually, you know, saw that it was sort of like playing basketball in my brooklyn street corner. it was the same type of thing. if we can admit that and they can say, well, okay. we're not afraid now. we're not paranoid that you'll take away our guns, we can come together. that's the only way we get this done. >> so dee dee myers, how does the white house finesse this situation and, you know, actually try and get some things done because you could, at this point, really corner some of the gun enthusiasts and the extreme right on this. is that the way to go? >> i think you have to build a coalition. it has to include not just democrats and people who always have skepticism about the availability of guns, but law enforcement and business leaders and others because this is an economic issue and a business issue as well as a moral issue and a public safety issue. and so -- and hopefully you have to bring some republicans on or at least two sm pro gun
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democrats in the -- when the last assault weapons ban was being fought over it was so helpful to have dennis deaconcini, a pro gun senator from arizona. you need someone out there that gun enthusiasts think will protect their rights. >> the most pro-gun democrat -- >> we remember the ad. >> he did a very courageous thing. he made a point that some of my republican colleagues have talked to me about and i think that those on the pro-gun movement said don't just single out guns. there are other causes for this. we don't deal with mental illness properly. there's loads of violence in video games and things like that. >> this is definitely a three or four-pronged approach. >> if you did three or four prongs, including guns and making sure things like assault weapons and ten-round clips, you do those kind of things, i think that those in the pro-gun movement would find that both democrat and republican more acceptable. >> okay, craig, let me read from
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"the new york times" back in 1991 why i'm for the brady bill. >> by ronald reagan, yes. >> anniversary is a word we usually associate with happy events that we like to remember. birthdays, weddings, the first job, march 30th, however, marks an anniversary i would just as soon forget, but cannot. it was on that day ten years ago that a deranged young man standing among reporters and photographers shot a policeman, a secret service agent, my press secretary and me on a washington sidewalk. this nightmare might never have happened if legislation that is before congress now -- the brady bill -- had been law back in 1981. and just a side note, i actually worked at st. elizabeth's handling john hinckley among others, who were in there for similar reasons. >> what he referred to were the bullets hinckley used that day. reagan supported gun control three times in his public career. once as a governor and twice as president. the problem for some people
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with -- because he wrote that in '91, but by the time the assault weapons ban became part of the crime bill in 1984, it had been -- there was a lot of stuff done, midnight basketball and midnight crafts. you had economic conservatives and people when it went down to defeat in august of 1994 is that some 55 members, democrats, including the entire black caucus, opposed it for various reasons. >> that's because it was a tough on crime bill. i was the author of the brady law and the assault weapons ban. the liberals didn't like it. we said we wanted to be tough on punishment, smart on prevention and the left didn't like it. it was a centrist bill. the far right didn't like it because of the gun stuff and the far left didn't like it but it passed. it's the kind coalition we might be -- >> but the problem also then and now is that the definition of what is an assault weapon. that was the problem then. they'd look at a gun and say it had a -- and it was scary.
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>> the nra called them first when he made, you know, these declarations about his positions on guns. and that's what i'm very ca concerned about that -- >> the nra used to be, when i was in summer camp, i took nra sharpshooter lessons. i have a merit badge. >> that's great. >> and it used to be like the aaa. helpful with safety and insurance. how did it change? two ways. one in the 1980s, there was a big fight within the nra and more militant people took over. and they started stoking the paranoia. but because crime was so high in areas like mine, lots of progressives said, hey, let's ban handguns. let's get raid of all guns, and that fed on the paranoia. so we should come back and say we're not going to take away your gun if you are a law-abiding citizen. the second amendment is as important as the first but no amendment is absolute like the nra's position is today.
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>> there are so many cross cultural rifts in this issue. the way to get everybody talking is to get everything on the table. when reagan signed the cooling off period as governor is that the black panthers actually marched on sacramento armed with their guns because they proper testing it. so there's a lot of -- there's a lot of nuances to this issue. that's why you have to put everything out there. >> dee dee real quick and then mark halperin in new york. >> mayor bloomberg has been saying he thinks the nra's power is overstayed at this point. that they've lost some battles in legislative races. i wonder if you agree with that? >> i think they still are very powerful because, here's what happened, and it may change now. when i go to street fairs, even on long island, and i'll see 1,000 people. two or three will say, chuck, i don't like you. you wrote the brady law. you're for the assault weapons ban. nobody will come to me and say support gun control. whereas 20 years, everyone did. why? because crime was rampant and so the broad middle was for gun control and was enough to
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counter the nra. you may have this then crime was reduced in part because of that crime bill and the brady law and other things. and there was nobody but the nra out there. they became more powerful and militant. now with all these shootings you may have the broad middle come up. that's the nra fears. >> 2-1 people say ban assault weapons. then you get into the long debate about what is an assault weapon. >> it's not their number one. >> i think there does seem to be a silence among some. waiting to hear from them. mark halperin in new york, jump in. >> i wanted to ask both senator schumer and craig, the house judiciary committee is the big piece of this, if there's going to be a strategy to move some legislation through. what are your thoughts about how to get republicans on the house judiciary committee engaged and willing to and anxious to move forward with something? >> well, i think the fact we've had the heller decision helps us very significantly. because now no one -- it's no
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established law that there's a right to bear arms. that gives those really militant organizations like gun owners of america and gives them less strength. secondly, it's really important what we talked about before, to make this a broader issue. gun control in reasonable ways, yes, but also mental illness, violence and those kinds of things. when i talk to my republican colleagues in the senate who are pro-nra in the last few days, they stressed that over and over again. >> all right. senator chuk schck schumer, dee myers and craig shirley. >> this sunday, david gregory has a discussion with the ceo and executive vice president of the national rifle association wayne lapierre. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." we're at walmart with the simmons family.
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robert bourque died wednesday morning of complications from heart disease. bork solicitor general during the watergate scandal and worked with mitt romney's presidential campaign as a judicial adviser. but he is best known to all of us based on his nomination to the supreme court. president reagan nominated him
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in 1987. liberals launched an all-out compain to oppose bork folk aungs his views on the constitution and liberty. the term getting borked was coined and is used to refer to any candidate being rejected after political assault. he was 87 years old. craig shirley, obviously a big moment in president reagan's time. why did he pick robert bork, and why did it fail? >> he picked robert bork, there's some stories behind the scene story about how he was considered both the scalia and bork and the idea was they were going to go with scalia first and then bork later but somehow got turned around in the reagan white house is the way i understand it. but this was the -- really the beginning of the politization of the american judiciary where you had a mounted grassroots campaign that started with ted kennedy's fiery speech on the floor of the senate going after senator bork. i was here at the time and part of the fight to help judge bork
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win confirmation. we obviously lost. we ended up with the verb being borked as a result. so all judicial nominations now have been politicized. >> all right. craig, thank you. mark, thank you. up next, a look ahead at the markets with cnbc's brian schactman. we're back in just a minute. [ woman ] ring. ring.
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progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. jets coach rex ryan announced that third string quarterback greg mcelroy will replace sanchez on sunday. you know because nobody else answered the team's craigslist ad. actually, after it was announced that the jets will start mcelroy it's rumored tim tebow might be
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asked to be traded. might ask to be traded. so that could be it for tebow here in new york. with that in mind, let's take a look back at tebow's highlights from this season. all right. very good. >> okay. tim tebow. i don't get it. somebody said people want to have dinner with him. is that you? >> no, i don't want to have dinner with tim tebow. your getting me confused with jim again? >> i think -- >> he seems nice but whatever. >> i'd rather have dinner with sanchez, i think. maybe not. >> i can't think of one of them i'd want to have dinner with. >> joe namath. >> cnbc's brian schactman. >> you know, guys, to add to the tebow thing. a lot of people talking they don't want to start tim tebow because it will be embarrassing if he actually plays well. there would be mud on
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everybody's face. i don't think he'll see the light of day. if he played here, rex ryan would look like a real -- yeah. okay. let's go to the markets. >> yes, that. this is before the bell. >> the stock market looks to be slightly positive for the open. a couple interesting data points. jobless claims ticked up 17,000 to 361,000. but the big number that might be talked about a fair amount today, final reading on third quarter gdp, 3.1%. over 3%. it was expected to be 2.7% or 2.8%. so that's a much stronger number than had been previously expected. and also, i.c.e., intercontinental exchange is buying the nyse for a deal valued at about $80 billion. they've promised to preserve the nyse brand. the stock exchange itself is a little more of a movie set than an exchange these days but people are fiercely loyal and want to keep it as it is. they say they'll keep it but you never know. it's a pretty big deal on wall street today. >> sam? >> yeah, when are we going to
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start seeing any market implications or ramifications for what's going on with the fiscal cliff talks? i'm waiting to see what kind of -- how the traders are going to react eventually. >> i think every time boehner walks out on a press conference, people decide to share a thousand shares of ibm and every time he smiles they buy them. people wonder if we'll get a t.a.r.p.-like sell-off, if we go over the cliff or there's a dramatic vote. people literally were scared their banks wouldn't work. this is a little different. the problems would be phased in. there's no doubt if there's sharp negative news or no deal you will see the markets, some say go down a couple percent. >> okay, brian schactman, thanks very much. >> you're welcome. >> we'll see you next time. looking ahead to tomorrow, we'll bring in former senior adviser to the obama campaign, david axelrod. his thoughts on the budget negotiations. and what life is like now without a mustache. also the uconn women's
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basketball coach geno auriemma will join us. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe."
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all right. 53 past. time for some morning papers. we'll start with the albany "times union." senate republicans have proposed a $24 billion emergency relief package for hurricane victims. the bill is significantly smaller than the one proposed by democrats which offered over $60 billion in relief. democrats had hoped to pass the bill before christmas. and the "san francisco chronicle." a group of conservatives are publicly voicing their childrens over the film "zero dark thirty." it includes several graphic torture scenes. senators feinstein, mccain and levin called the film grossly inaccurate and misleading and said there's a social and moral obligation to get the facts right. sam? >> providence journal. 20-year-old olivia culpo has been named miss universe. beating out contestants from 88 other countries.
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culpo becomes the first rhode islander to ever win the pageant and the first american to do so since 1997. i watched every second. incredibly suspenseful. really happy. go usa. >> yeah, up next, what did we learn today? here's a look at your business travel forecast. all the trouble in the midwest with the blizzard now heading
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for chicago and michigan later on today. a lot of snow back through kansas, nebraska. blowing snow, too. iowa and wisconsin, definitely the worst of the travel. then we have rain and thunderstorms through the deep south. so the bottom line, traveling through the midwest, use caution today. or of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro.
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time for what we learned today. halperin, you are part of this. what did you learn? >> i think if there's going to be legislative action in the wake of the tragedy in newtown, it's going to involve some pretty cagey legislators strategy by chuck schumer and joe biden. >> even when i'm not on set, joe thinks i am on set. >> or he's losing it. dee dee myers? >> i'm sorry, mika. i learned that you keep a copy of joe's identification because he so often appears without it. >> and he doesn't know where sam stein is. poor joe. >> women really should rule the world. >> we do